Two prominent Missouri physicians, Dr. William H. Danforth and Dr. Maureen Dudgeon, are speaking out to support the Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative in TV ads.
Dr. Danforth is Chancellor Emeritus of Washington University in St. Louis and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. Dr. Dudgeon is Associate Dean of Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences.
The TV ads and a list of 600 Missouri physicians and 60 leading patient and medical organizations that support the Stem Cell Initiative can be viewed online by visiting the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures website.
In his 30-second spot, Dr. Danforth says he supports the Initiative because of the hope that stem cell research holds for alleviating the pain and suffering caused by diseases and injuries that are currently incurable.
"My hope for Missouri with the Stem Cell Initiative is for a bright future," Dr. Danforth says.
"I hope that Missourians will have better health and better medicine. I hope that the tragic diseases that we now see will be cured, like juvenile diabetes, like serious heart damage, like spinal cord injury, like Parkinson's disease."
"Don't give up hope. Support the Stem Cell Initiative. Allow the scientists to develop cures for these diseases."
Dr. Dudgeon explains in her spot that the Initiative is designed to protect stem cell research and patient access to stem cell treatments in Missouri.
"It would be heartbreaking to know that cures were available to people all over the United States but not available to the citizens of Missouri," Dr. Dudgeon says.
"The Stem Cell Research Initiative very simply allows Missouri scientists, Missouri physicians and Missouri citizens to pursue, prescribe and benefit from potential cures that would be available to every other citizen in the United States."
The Stem Cell Initiative, proposed for the November statewide ballot, protects the right of Missouri patients to have access to any federally approved stem cell cures.
It also ensures that Missouri medical institutions can continue research to help find those cures.
The measure was developed because some Missouri politicians have repeatedly tried to pass state laws that would ban and criminalize research and cures involving early, or embryonic, stem cells (ES cells).
Medical researchers believe ES cells could provide cures for diseases and injuries that afflict hundreds of thousands of Missouri children and adults and millions of other Americans - including diabetes, Parkinson's, cancer, heart disease, ALS, sickle cell disease and spinal cord injury.